The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the profound effects that global crises can have on our well-being and emotional stability. While we may no longer be in the throes of lockdowns and daily pandemic updates, the world remains a complex and unpredictable place. Economic turmoil, political conflict, and natural disasters continue to cast shadows of uncertainty, leaving us with a persistent sense of instability.
In addition to these external factors, many of us carry personal burdens and familial responsibilities that can make managing our mental health an even greater challenge. Work, relationships, and daily life demands can sometimes feel overwhelming, leading to anxiety, depression and stress. Recognizing that these struggles are a normal part of the human experience is essential, and you’re not alone in facing them.
Our very own Shauna Ruda MA, LMSW, recently shared her recommendations on achieving mental stability and emotional wellness with US News and World Report. If you’re looking to get to a better place of inner peace and balance to manage the world’s challenges, try some of her — and other — expert-recommended steps to move forward and reclaim your emotional equilibrium:
Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help you stay grounded in the present moment and reduce anxiety. “Try to focus on tasks one by one and go easy on yourself,” said Ruda. “Find a well deeper than a human, which lends itself to a richer experience and breadth of a reservoir of strength and healing.”
Interact with pets and animals
Studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support and boost your mood. “If you’re not in a place to add a furry friend to your household, volunteer at a local animal shelter, visit a friendly petting zoo or farm or participate in goat yoga,” said Ruda. “Pets are an incredible supplement to one’s path to fulfilling their journey into emotional stability, wellness and healing.”
Always make time for laughter
Laughter can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, promoting an overall sense of well-being and temporarily relieving pain. It also decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
Ruda added, “Engaging in play is a great way to work in regular laughter and humor. Play is voluntary, pleasurable and engaging for its own sake. To explore ways of tapping into playfulness, think about how you played as a kid. Identify what you were doing and if it was alone or with others. By remembering our own ‘play history,’ you can tap into how you might play as an adult.”
Seek Professional Help to Achieve Emotional Stability
If you’re struggling to cope with your mental health, consider seeking professional help. Therapists and counselors are there to provide guidance and support tailored to your needs.
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, take breaks and prioritize your mental health. While the challenges of post-pandemic life are real, so is your resilience. By taking proactive steps and seeking support when needed, you can strive for emotional stability and well-being in this ever-evolving world.
Main photo courtesy of Photographer Karolina Grabowska and Pexels.